Poised for growth: Kalibri Labs adds two seasoned hospitality executives to its leadership team

The next-generation hotel benchmarking company’s business development team expands to deliver property, brand and industry insights to hotel decision makers.

Kalibri Labs is pleased to announce the addition of David Attardi as Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing, and Jennifer Hill as Vice President, Business Development. Kalibri Labs, a big data and analytics firm for the hospitality industry has built a digital platform to evaluate and predict revenue performance.

Attardi and Hill join an impressive team already in place at Kalibri Labs, bringing with them the perspective and extensive hands-on hotel and real estate knowledge to enable hotel owners and operators to leverage Kalibri Labs’ toolkit for evaluating and improving profit contribution.

David and Jennifer bring a combination of practical industry knowledge and revenue strategy know-how to add value for client adoption. We are excited to roll out Hummingbird PXM and our real estate insights reports with greater scale going forward
— Cindy Estis Green, CEO and Co-founder

Prior to joining Kalibri Labs, Attardi served as Vice President of Lodging Development for Red Lion Hotels Corporation leading the company’s aggressive pursuit of franchise growth on the east coast. Prior to that, he operated as Vice President of Interactive Marketing at B. F. Saul Company, in charge of all the organization’s online and offline channel distribution. Over the years Attardi has been heavily involved in many industry organizations, such as IHG Owners Association’s Emerging Leaders Council, Marriott eCommerce Franchise Committee, and Board member of the Washington, DC chapter of HSMAI.


Hill comes to Kalibri Labs most recently from Highgate where she served as Regional Director of Revenue and Distribution. She has over 17 years of direct hotel operations and revenue experience at an array of branded and independent properties. Hill is an active member of the Advisory Board for the Washington DC chapter of HSMAI; has been recognized as one of the Top 25 Minds in Sales, Marketing and Revenue Optimization in 2017; and was awarded the HSMAI Revenue Management Professional of the Year in 2014.


This powerful combination of experience brings depth and breadth of industry perspective to the Kalibri Labs’ portfolio of products, specifically Hummingbird PXM, a hotel revenue strategy platform. Hummingbird PXM delivers insights to hotel owners and operators focused on revealing opportunities by channel, rate category and travel agency to grow a hotel’s profit contribution.

“We have spent the last 5 years building our database to over 30,000 hotels with details of daily transactions and their cost of acquisition supplemented by critical external data points including Airbnb supply and demand, consumer review indices and loyalty contribution,” said Cindy Estis Green, CEO and Co-founder of Kalibri Labs. “David and Jennifer bring a combination of practical industry knowledge and revenue strategy know-how to add value for client adoption. We are excited to roll out Hummingbird PXM and our real estate insights reports with greater scale going forward.”


In addition to the Hummingbird PXM digital platform, Kalibri Labs offers a variety of dynamic reports and analysis that leverage its next generation net revenue metrics through the lens of real estate development, asset acquisition/disposition, financing and valuation. By understanding a hotel’s ‘revenue capture,’ or how much revenue a hotel keeps of what the guests pay, owners, developers, brokers and lenders can more accurately assess a hotel’s position in the market and the impact of the property’s distribution channel mix on its profit contribution and ultimately on its valuation.

ABOUT KALIBRI LABS
Kalibri Labs evaluates and predicts revenue performance in the digital marketplace with its next-generation hotel benchmarking platform and analytical reports. The Kalibri Labs database, updated monthly, is comprised of guest stay records, including cost of customer acquisition and detailed source of business information, from over 30,000 hotels dating back more than 5 years to give an expansive view of the U.S. hotel industry performance.

Read the full press release on Cision PR web

Expedia turns to HomeAway as direct-booking campaigns dent earnings

Expedia’s Q4 earnings missed projections as its stranglehold on the online hotel bookings landscape may be in jeopardy over the effectiveness of hotel direct-booking campaigns, though Expedia CEO Mark Okerstrom is reluctant to admit as much. 

Expedia reported $10.05 billion in revenue for the 2017 fiscal year, missing analyst projections of $10.11 billion. Expedia’s bookings increased 14 percent, or $2.4 billion, reaching $19.8 billion, but the company missed its forecasted revenue goal of $2.36 billion, recording $2.32 billion.

Expedia missed its quarterly projections once again, but this time it may have more to do with spending than the weather. 

Expedia missed its quarterly projections once again, but this time it may have more to do with spending than the weather. 

Directly Limiting

Hotel companies' push for direct bookings may have had its initial detractors, but a 2017 report from Kalibri Labs, which analyzed the early days of the campaign, showed room night growth from May through Dec. 2016 was up 7.8 percent across 12,000 surveyed hotels, while net revenue for these properties also rose 9.3 percent. 

This data are not the only relevant facts to consider when looking at the impact of direct bookings. During Expedia's Q4 call, Okerstrom said the company's sort order for online searches is pushing bookings toward independent hotels. This could be attributed to Expedia's customers preferring to book by price. If independent hotels are appearing higher on Expedia’s searches, then it stands to reason that the better rates for branded hotels will be found through branded booking channels.

Read the full article on Hotel Management

The Numbers—What Are We Dealing With & Where Are We Headed?

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By Gregg Wallis

LOS ANGELES—This year’s ALIS Conference included a session entitled “The Numbers—What Are We Dealing With & Where Are We Headed?” Leading economic researchers took a look at the industry and presented their findings. Here is a look at what they said.

Carter Wilson, VP of consulting and analytics, STR

According to Carter Wilson, VP of consulting and analytics at STR, 2017 was a great year for the hotel economy. “The hotel economy is very dependent on the overall economy,” he said. “Right now, all of the indicators are very solid. We are looking at low unemployment, strong corporate earnings and moderate inflation levels, so it all played a key in 2017’s performance in the industry. Demand did outpace our estimate in 2017; a lot of that was due to the third and fourth quarters with the impact of the hurricanes and the wildfires. The industry continues to perform at all-time record levels according to every single metric.”

Cindy Estis Green, CEO and co-founder, Kalibri Labs LLC

Cindy Estis Green, CEO/co-founder of Kalibri Labs, took a look at hotel performance in the digital marketplace.

In 2017, the U.S. hotel industry had nearly twice as much business through its brand.com websites at 22.6%, compared to 13.6% booked through online travel agencies (OTAs). In spite of this difference, hotels are still challenged in managing costs of sales, with OTA commissions rising at three times the rate of guest paid revenue and twice the growth of loyalty costs, according to Estis Green.

Read the full article on Hotel Business

Marriott Will Reduce Group & Meetings Commissions

What led us to the decision was trying to balance [intermediaries, customers and owners] and make sure that we make a decision that made good sense for all. … And frankly, it also had to make good economic sense for the business overall.
— Brian King from Marriott International

Marriott International is reducing the commissions it pays to group intermediaries from 10 percent to 7 percent beginning March 31, 2018. The policy change will be a brand standard that will take effect at all managed and franchised properties in the U.S. and Canada.

Marriott global officer of digital, distribution, revenue management and global sales Brian King said the change is a "reset and rethink" moment for the company. "We've been looking at the demand that we're receiving from our customers and the amount of innovation that needs to take place in the group space from an end-user perspective, and then we've also been watching the pace of revenue growth and the pace of commissions, and they're just not commensurate with each other."

The policy may not come as a surprise to many in the meetings and events space, as fears that commissions would change have been growing the past three to four years, particularly in light of industry megamergers. One consultant speaking on background earlier this month, prior to any Marriott news, suggested the company had the power to do away with group and meetings commissions entirely. King, however, said that was never a consideration. "We're very, very committed to intermediaries and our partners, we're committed to our customers and we're committed to our hotel owners," he said. "It's a three legged-stool, and we are trying to strike the right balance that we can appropriately take care of each of those audiences, invest in the hotels appropriately so those customers can have experiences that they desire which will drive demand to our partners." But that consideration also had to make good economic sense for Marriott, he added.

Read the full article on Business Travel News

ALIS Day One: What is the new normal?

Editors recap the opening day of the Americas Lodging Investment Summit with takeaways, quotables and more highlights from the event.

LOS ANGELES—“You’ve got to know when to hold ’em, and know when to sell ’em,” according to a hotel-centric adaptation of the Kenny Rogers classic performed at the opening plenary session of the Americas Lodging Investment Summit.

ALIS speakers dove into the numbers Monday, talking fundamentals, transaction volume and what to expect in 2018. From left: moderator Rob Kline, Chartres Lodging Group; Carter Wilson, STR; Cindy Estis Green, Kalibri Labs; Mark Wynne Smith, JLL Hotels; and Mark Woodworth, CBRE Hotels. (Photo: Stephanie Ricca)

ALIS speakers dove into the numbers Monday, talking fundamentals, transaction volume and what to expect in 2018. From left: moderator Rob Kline, Chartres Lodging Group; Carter Wilson, STR; Cindy Estis Green, Kalibri Labs; Mark Wynne Smith, JLL Hotels; and Mark Woodworth, CBRE Hotels. (Photo: Stephanie Ricca)

The theme of this year’s ALIS is “Dealing with the new normal,” and opening day speakers started that conversation with a look at the big questions facing U.S. hoteliers in this period of unprecedented continued growth.

“The question is, what is the new normal as we head into 2018?” asked Jim Burba, ALIS chairman and co-founder of Burba Hotel Network, during the conference’s opening plenary session on Monday. “More deals or less? Is it time to sell? Time to build? Time to hold?”

Read the full article on Hotel News Now

5 things to know about direct-booking campaigns

In the not-too-distant past, major hotel companies were all-in on various campaigns to let the public know direct channels were the best way to book rooms. Here are some insights into how those now stand.

There was a period not that long ago when entire earnings seasons were dominated by various companies, headlined by heavyweights like Hilton and Marriott International, going to new lengths to secure more direct bookings.

In those companies’ quests to win share back from online travel agencies and other third parties, many engaged in discounted loyalty bookings and other new programs to lure more direct business.

Chatter around those programs has cooled considerably, so Hotel News Now decided to look to some expert sources to take a pulse on where they stand.

Read the full article on Hotel News Now

2017's top hospitality trends

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The year has come and gone, and it will remembered as one of uncertain optimsim. Things may be looking up for 2018 as pro-business reforms, such as changes to the tax code, begin to effect change on the industry, but looking back on 2017 we see an industry already in action. Hotels took time this year to adapt to the changing business landscape through partnerships, changes in strategy and a renewed focus on technology. 

Here are the five biggest storylines that took place in 2017...

1. OTA Partnerships and Home-Sharing Legitimization

2. Women in Hospitality

3. Rising Costs and Hidden Fees

4. Design Disruption

5. Safety Under Duress

Read the full article on Hotel Management

Six excellent hotel websites (and how they encourage direct booking)

Online travel agencies (OTAs) have enjoyed huge growth over the past few years, with the majority of consumers now booking hotels and accommodation via third-party sites. 

However, new research from Kalibri Labs suggests that consumer favour could in fact be be shifting, reverting back to brand hotel sites rather than OTAs.

In the analysis of the period of May to December 2016, when the hotels in question ran ‘book direct’ campaigns, Kalibri found a faster rate of growth in hotel site bookings compared to the OTA channel. This was also the case in terms of both revenue and room nights when compared to year before, (and prior to the direct booking campaigns being launched).

So, what makes consumers want to book direct rather than via a third party? Here are some examples of hotel websites I think are getting it right.

The Ritz

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As one of the most well-known hotels in London, the Ritz largely relies on its prestigious reputation to drive bookings. This means that people might be more inclined to visit its website as a first port of call anyway (as opposed to a third party site). However, the Ritz still encourages direct bookings as often as possible, immediately capturing the user’s attention with a list of benefits (including lowest rates and free calls and internet).

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Elsewhere, it sets out types of rooms and suites clearly, showcasing the opulence and luxury of the hotel with large and prominent imagery.

The search and booking process itself is quick and easy, with prominent reviews also being used to spur on consumers and encourage bookings.

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This is perhaps surprising for a luxury hotel like the Ritz, whereby a high level of service is presumed to be standard. However, its inclusion shows how important the advocacy and influence of past customers can be - regardless of hotel heritage.

Hotel Direct-Booking Pushes Really Worked and Owners Were Big Winners

The bigger question, however, is whether these campaigns will still work in 2017 and beyond; offering discounted rates can only last for so long. Hotels need to start thinking about how they can ensure this momentum continues in the long run without having to use discounted rates.
—  Deanna Ting
Did Hilton succeed in convincing consumers to “Stop Clicking Around?” Did Marriott prove “It pays to book direct“?

Did Hilton succeed in convincing consumers to “Stop Clicking Around?” Did Marriott prove “It pays to book direct“?

According to a new report from Kalibri Labs, they and their peers which launched direct- booking campaigns in 2016 certainly did.

Compiling data from its database of more than 25,000 hotels in the U.S., including validated costs and daily transactions directly sourced from the hotels’ systems, Kalibri Labs found that there was indeed a shift in consumer behavior toward brand.com sites versus online travel agencies such as Booking.com or Expedia. More consumers than ever before chose to book direct versus booking on a third-party site.

Read the full article on Skift

Hotel direct booking campaigns really work

Over the past 18 months industry experts and analysts have weighed in on the effectiveness of direct booking campaigns, but a new report from Kalibri Labs shows consumer behavior has taken a shift to favor Brand.com, meaning the effort is paying off.

A new study from Kalibri Labs shows that the collective effort of hotel companies to sway people to book direct is working. The study, “Book Direct Campaigns: The Cost & Benefits of Loyalty,” was conducted between May and December 2016, and authored by Cindy Estis Green, CEO and co-founder of Kalibri Labs, alongside Mark Mazzocco, VP of revenue strategy at Kalibri Labs.

Read the full article on Hotel Marketing

Report: Book Direct Campaigns Have Shifted Consumers to Brand Websites

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ROCKVILLE, MD—Kalibri Labs has revealed the results of a new study regarding hotel brands’ book-direct campaigns: according to the research, there’s been a consumer shift in favor of brand.com versus online travel agencies (OTAs), compared to historic growth trends, during the recent promotional campaigns. The study also revealed increased revenue for hotels during the campaign period examined in the study.

“This shift in consumer behavior is positive news for hotel brands across the country, supporting the efforts to increase use of the hotel industry’s direct channels over the past couple of years,” said Cindy Estis Green, CEO/Co-founder of Kalibri Labs. “The results demonstrate that customer affinity to brand.com is increasing, and there is an accelerated growth in loyalty membership and revenue.”

Read the full article on Hotel Business

Research: Book Direct Campaigns Drive Consumers To Hotel Websites vs. OTAs

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Rockville, Md.—Kalibri Labs released results from a new study that reveal a consumer shift in favor of hotel brand websites versus online travel agencies (OTAs) compared to historic growth trends. The change in consumer preference took place during recent promotional campaigns to attract new loyalty members with incentives to book direct. The study also revealed increased revenue for hotels during the campaign period examined in the study.

“This shift in consumer behavior is positive news for hotel brands across the country, supporting the efforts to increase use of the hotel industry’s direct channels over the past couple of years,” said Cindy Estis Green, CEO and co-founder of Kalibri Labs who conducted the analysis. “The results demonstrate that customer affinity to Brand.com is increasing, and there is an accelerated growth in loyalty membership and revenue.”

Read the full article on Lodging Magazine

Research reveals consumer shift in favor of hotel brands websites vs. OTAs

Loyalty with hotel website found to be powerful driver of demand and growth. The Kalibri Labs study sample of 12,000 hotels and 52 million transactions confirmed that channel shift occurred with more rapid growth in Brand.com and slowed growth in the OTA channel during the period the campaigns were running.

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ROCKVILLE, MD - Kalibri Labs announced that the results of a new study reveal a consumer shift in favor of Brand.com versus online travel agencies (OTAs) compared to historic growth trends, during the recent promotional campaigns to attract new loyalty members with incentives to book direct. The study also revealed increased revenue for hotels during the campaign period examined in the study.

“This shift in consumer behavior is positive news for hotel brands across the country, supporting the efforts to increase use of the hotel industry’s direct channels over the past couple of years,” said Cindy Estis Green, CEO & co-founder of Kalibri Labs who conducted the analysis. “The results demonstrate that customer affinity to Brand.com is increasing, and there is an accelerated growth in loyalty membership and revenue.”

Read the full article on Travel Daily News

New study from Kalibri Labs shows direct bookings push is working

Hotels have been trying to guide guests to Brand.com... and it's working.

Hotels have been trying to guide guests to Brand.com... and it's working.

They say if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. In 2016, 10 of the hospitality industry’s largest hotel brands began a concentrated effort to win back direct bookings from online travel agencies as part of the “Book Direct” campaign. The effort was designed to educate consumers on the benefits to booking direct, while offering bonuses or reduced rates for loyalty members, but until now no one in the industry was sure if it worked or not.

Over the past 18 months industry experts and analysts have weighed in on the effectiveness of the campaign, but a new report from Kalibri Labs shows consumer behavior has taken a shift to favor Brand.com, meaning the effort is paying off.  The report, titled “Book Direct Campaigns: The Cost & Benefits of Loyalty,” was conducted between May and December 2016, and authored by Cindy Estis Green, CEO & co-founder of Kalibri Labs, alongside Mark Mazzocco, VP of revenue strategy at Kalibri Labs. This is the first study of its kind to look at the Book Direct campaign that looked beyond the transactional aspect of bookings, and also included an analysis of the “lifetime value” of incremental loyalty members as they relate to hotels.

Loyalty contribution is 40-60 percent for most hotel segments, and has risen 7 percent on average the last three years, with a jump in 2016 in growth of 2-4 times prior year’s growth rate.

Loyalty contribution is 40-60 percent for most hotel segments, and has risen 7 percent on average the last three years, with a jump in 2016 in growth of 2-4 times prior year’s growth rate.

The full report, "Book Direct Campaigns: The Cost & Benefits of Loyalty," can be viewed here.

Consumer acquisition costs too high and growing, says Kalibri Labs CEO

By Elliott Mest

NEW YORK — Customer acquisition costs in hospitality can vary depending on the property, but when guests book through third parties, hotel revenue takes a serious hit. Cindy Estis Green, CEO & co-founder of Kalibri Labs, held a workshop on the second day of the Direct Booking Summit in New York City titled “The New Dynamics of the Digital Landscape,” which delved into the numbers behind customer acquisition costs and how small shifts in direct bookings can add up over time.

According to Green, the cost of customer acquisition in hospitality is an average of 15 percent to 25 percent of guest-paid revenue, but she said there are many hotels that are spending as much as 35 percent of guest-paid revenue to put new heads in beds. Green said revenue that contributes to operating profit and expenses (such as sales and marketing) consists of whatever is left after operators pay out for loyalty investments, retail commissions and wholesale commissions, leaving a tiny slice of the pie for overall net revenue. 

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30 Influential Women In Hospitality

Cindy Estis Green, CEO and Co-Founder, Kalibri Labs

Cindy Estis Green launched Kalibri Labs—a data analytics company geared toward the hospitality industry—in 2012 after spending years in the field. As the CEO, she influences the company by staying connected to the team’s activities, promoting personal development for team members in their areas of discipline and acting as a spokesperson for the industry. “I have experience and a skill set in an area that I realized can help mitigate some challenges facing hospitality today,” she said. “I wake up every day and can’t wait to get to work and move a little closer to meeting the objectives of making a difference. I am very self-motivated and when I set my sights on a target, I have a lot of persistence and a lot of energy that I train on that objective. I try not to focus on the hurdles which are inevitably on the path; I just try to work through them quickly and keep my eye constantly on the finish line.” Green suggests that up-and-coming leaders focus more on where they go than on where they studied. “Keep in mind that what you end up doing for most of your career may not exist when you graduate from university, so don’t worry if the work you do in your first five years isn’t something you want to do for the next 20,” she said. “Find a path that makes you want to jump out of bed so you can get to it. When you learn what you love to spend time on, the career opportunities will be clearer and easier to achieve.”

Read the article on Hotel Management

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Women in Technology

Cindy Estis Green breaks new ground in business, data analysis and leadership.

Cindy Estis Green spent her childhood summers at camp But unlike her peers' experience, it wasn't all fun and games. She grew up helping her parents, Buddy and Irma Estis, own and operate Camp Redwood in New York State's Lower Hudson Valley.

The family business is where Cindy cut her teeth on the fundamentals of the hospitality industry - lodging, food and beverage, amenities and giving guests reasons to return again and again.

Today, the self-made business woman examines other fundamentals made relevant in the past two decades by technology - electronic global booking systems and the emergence of third-party online distribution platforms.

Read the full article on Asian Hospitality

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Owners’ views on hotel distribution profitability

September 22 2017

By Ines Blal, Cindy Estis Green, and Alexandre Sogno

Owners can use this straightforward assessment and these guidelines to manage room inventory.

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The year 2016 marked a new step in hotel distribution with the active participation in travel of Google, TripAdvisor and others entering the market with instant booking and other transactional models. Here’s our straightforward assessment and actionable guidelines for owners with regards to the management of their room inventory.

Asset managers have to be well-versed in the subject to be able to identify potential hidden costs. After all, as owners expect operators to generate direct bookings, management fees are computed on the basis of the “full average daily rate” and not on the “net ADR” (which is ADR minus transaction-related acquisition costs and general acquisition costs, plus ancillary spend).

Read the full article on Hotel News Now

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Travel Tech CEO Series: DerbySoft Prepares for a Hotel Distribution Free-for-All

July 18 2017

Sean O'Neill

This is the final Q&A in a series of conversations with industry leaders.

Our Travel Tech CEO Listening Series has showcased the industry’s top minds revealing where business-to-business travel tech is heading.

Skift: But guest acquisition costs eat up anywhere from 10 to 20 percent of room revenue at upscale and luxury hotels in North America, according to research by Kalibri Labs. Don’t you think hotels should work to tame third-party distribution?

Zhang: Nobody should dominate the partnership and force another side to do something they don’t want to do.

That said, OTAs provide huge value to the hotel companies. They will exist forever.

Read the full article on Skift

Positive Data For Hotel Industry Unveiled At AAHOA Conference

Steady As She Goes

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Dennis Nessler

Mark Woodworth, CBRE Hotels | Estis Green, Kalibri Labs

Mark Woodworth, CBRE Hotels | Estis Green, Kalibri Labs

Some positive news was offered to hoteliers at last week’s annual AAHOA Conference in the form of a continued positive growth forecast for the foreseeable future as well as the apparent progress of branded hotels in getting consumers to book direct.

Mark Woodworth, senior managing director, CBRE Hotels, offered an economic update on the U.S. hotel industry, while Cindy Estis Green, co-founder/CEO, Kalibri Labs, detailed for the first time the results of a recent survey that shed some light on how hoteliers are faring in comparison to the OTAs.
 

Read the full article on Hotel Interactive

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